Qualifications needed to be a Special Needs Assistant in Ireland
The special needs assistant provides care to children with special needs. The major responsibility of the SNAs is to provide support to children of different ages suffering from disabilities. They work with teachers to promote or manage the growth of children with individual needs. Moreover, the SNA can modify the broad educational curriculum so that the special needs of the children are met effectively. It requires high patient skills, acceptance, and efficient understanding to become a good special needs assistant. In this handout, the students will get to know how to become a special needs assistant and what tasks are performed by SNA.
Generally, the special needs assistant work under the guidance of the class teacher and school principal while supporting the child with individual needs. Being a teacher of the child with disabilities can be sometimes challenging for the SNA; however, it is one of the most rewarding jobs. The special needs assistant offers a wide range of services to children who have cognitive disabilities, physical problems, emotional issues, or individual needs. So, the SNA should be physically as well as mentally prepared to assist the emotionally and physically challenged children.
What qualifications are required to become a special needs assistant?
The requirements to become a special needs assistant are licensed by each state so that SNA become eligible to teach at a public school. The certified teachers who want to become a special needs assistant can pursue a Master’s degree in the field of special education. However, many private schools often require a Bachelor’s degree. To qualify for the special needs assistant qualification, the individual must have a teacher preparation program approved by the state in their resume. Following are the qualifications that are enough to become eligible for special needs assistant job:
- Having a student teaching internship in a special education
- Achieving a state-approved Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in special education
- Clearing the state’s required tests for special needs assistant
What tasks are performed by the special needs assistant?
The special needs assistant can teach either at the elementary school, middle school, or a secondary school depending on their qualification status. Some of the SNAs have their own classrooms to teach the child with special needs and some can work on a public or private group basis.
- The job of the special needs assistant includes assisting the school teachers in assessing and identifying the child who may have special needs or any disability.
- Similar to the general education teachers, SNAs plan lessons, assign various activities to the child, and instruct them.
- Apart from it, the SNAs can also grade tests and various assignments to the child to track their progress.
- It is the responsibility of the special needs assistant to meet with children’s parents and discuss the capabilities of their child and other challenges that the child may be facing.
- While working with the other school teachers, the SNA can adjust the lessons and other activities that fit perfectly to the special needs of children.
What skills are required to become a special needs assistant?
- Developing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) is crucial for SNAs while instructing children with disabilities. The SNAs should be active every time while caring for the child with special needs as one child may require to be focused on reading, one on math skills, and so on.
- It is essential for the special needs assistant to remain calm, patient, inspiring, accepting, and organized at the same time.
- The job of the SNA requires high interactions with the child who lack understanding or requires special attention.
- Good communication skills are the must to talk with children, their parents, and their counselors to measure success.
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